Truck Test 2022: done and dusted!

Truck Test 2022: done and dusted!

Truck Test 2022 is done and dusted… and now we know which trucks in South Africa are the best of the best!

After many months of planning, Truck Test 2022 kicked off on May 31, when the trucks were refuelled at Engen Blockhouse south of Johannesburg. This was the start and end point for the Johannesburg/Durban/Johannesburg test that was to come.

On a cold June winter’s morning the following day, the drivers, observers, and supporters gathered at Engen Blockhouse. After a quick driver briefing, the teams conducted their last-minute checks before the trucks’ engines were fired up and they were released at one-minute intervals. True to typical transport tradition, the eight trucks (read all about them over the next six pages) departed long before most Gauteng residents emerged from their warm beds.

At sunrise, the trucks made their first scheduled stop at the Heidelberg weighbridge. This was compulsory for all the Truck Test participants – total time taken is an integral part of Truck Test because it impacts productivity. In order to be as fair as possible to all the participants, the clock was stopped when the trucks entered the weighbridge, so that any delays did not influence the result.

Leaving the weighbridge, the trucks resumed their journey to Durban on the N3. An average of 58 million tonnes of freight is carried on this corridor per annum, making it one of the busiest trucking routes in South Africa and the ideal route on which to test trucks.


After a quick pitstop at Highway Junction in Harrismith, where the drivers and observers enjoyed a short break and a delicious lunch, the MAN team jumped into action to replace two flat tyres on the trailer that – uncannily – had both been punctured by bolts. This is an expensive and exhausting exercise! Each tyre costs about R4 000, while the tyre and wheel weigh a hefty 120 kg. Although not as fast as a Formula One tyre change, the team still managed to do the job within a commendable 20 minutes.

The day’s journey ended in Pinetown, at Engen Trafford, where the trucks were refuelled for the next day’s up run to Johannesburg.

The participants were once again up long before dawn on June 2 in preparation for the up run. There was a hive of activity at Engen Trafford, as the drivers and observers readied themselves for the journey. The return journey commenced extremely early because we didn’t want to get stuck in the horrendous peak hour traffic on Town Hill. The N3 is, after all, an extremely busy road; traffic volumes range from 8 500 to 13 500 vehicles daily.

This successful strategy allowed the trucks to have a smooth run: by the time the sun rose, we were already in Mooi River. The truck drivers were working extremely hard behind the wheel, each one determined to achieve the very best fuel consumption. Later, as we neared Johannesburg, there was only one question on everyone’s mind: which truck would perform the best?

At the Heidelberg weighbridge, the trucks and their loads of Vibro bricks were weighed once again to ensure that all the vehicles were legally compliant. Then it was a short hop of an hour or so to the end stop at Engen Blockhouse.

We are pleased to report that all eight trucks made it back safely to Engen Blockhouse. This was never taken as a “given”; the N3 is fast becoming notorious for blockages and protest action.

We need to pay tribute to the eight drivers, who worked exceptionally hard during the test. Much of any truck’s performance is due to its driver – and the rigs that performed best were in the hands of capable and extremely hard-working drivers.

We would also like to pay tribute to our valued partners and sponsors:

  • Engen sponsored the fuel used on the test and also provided the most incredible hospitality during the event (we ate like kings and received fabulous goodie bags too)
  • Afrit sponsored trailers
  • Ctrack sponsored the tracking devices
  • Vibro sponsored the loads
  • Specifications and results were compiled by TruckScience
  • ADA was responsible for logistics
  • BPW, Loadtech, Standard Bank, and AutoTrader sponsored the event

We would like to thank these companies profusely. It was great to have these leading transport industry suppliers and a leading brick supplier join us at what was THE transport event of 2022. And we could not have held the event without their support.

The results of the complete run – as well as the route and vehicle specifications – appear here. They also appear on In addition, they will feature in a television programme on Ignition in July.

These are the dates and times when the programme will be aired on DStv Channel 189:

Saturday, 2 July: 10am

Sunday, 3 July: 4pm

Monday, 4 July: 12am, 10:30am

Tuesday, 5 July: 4am

Wednesday, 6 July: 8pm

Thursday, 7 July: 8am, 5pm

Friday, 8 July: 2pm

Published by

Charleen Clarke

CHARLEEN CLARKE is editorial director of FOCUS. While she is based in Johannesburg, she spends a considerable amount of time overseas, attending international transport events – largely in her capacity as associate member of the International Truck of the Year Jury.
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